It marks the first attempt by any nation to retrieve rocks from the moon since the 1970s. On Monday, Reuters confirmed the launch:
CHINA LAUNCHES ROCKET CARRYING PROBE IN HISTORIC MISSION TO MOON- RTRS
China's probe, the Chang'e-5, sets off with the goal of China learning more about the moon's origin and formation. If China succeeds, they will be only the third country to have retrieved samples from the moon - behind the U.S. and Soviet Union, according to CNN.
The goal of the mission to collect 4.5 pounds of samples in a previously untouched area called Oceanus Procellarum, or "Ocean of Storms". The U.S. Apollo missions had previously landed 12 astronauts and brought back a total of 842 pounds of rocks and soil. The Soviet Union's Luna missions had brought 6 ounces of samples in the 70s.